SOM unveils images of new undulating mixed-use tower in China

April 9, 2018 by  
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SOM recently just unveiled the first images of a spiraling mixed-use tower planned for China . The Hangzhou Wangchao Center features an undulating glass façade and eight mega-columns that slope outward at the corners. This design helps to minimize wind loads and optimize the center’s performance and efficiency. The Center will offer hotel, office and retail spaces in the heart of  Hangzhou . As a result of an integrated architectural and engineering strategy, the tower’s distinct silhouette minimizes wind loads and creates flexible floor plates. Related: SOM’s diagrid glass tower rises like a Chinese paper lantern in Beijing In addition to the large sloping corner columns, architects designed secondary perimeter columns that branch out to maintain equal column bays. A Vierendeel transfer truss above the lobby connects the secondary columns to the corner columns. This structure allows for the use of planar glass panels as cladding material. The tower is slated for completion in 2021. SOM said, “Located at the intersection of several major transportation networks, the tower is a beacon of performance-driven design and is emblematic of Hangzhou’s future as a new global destination.” + SOM Via ArchDaily Images by Brick Visual

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SOM unveils images of new undulating mixed-use tower in China

Discovery of ancient middle finger bone completely upends what we know about human migration

April 9, 2018 by  
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Archaeologists have discovered an ancient middle finger bone in Saudia Arabia, and it could completely change what we know about human migration. An 85,000-year-old bone belonging to Homo sapiens marks the first evidence of humans that scientists have found in the Nefud Desert. This is also the first time Homo sapiens bones of that age have been discovered anywhere outside Africa. The current theory of human migration posits that Homo sapiens migrated en masse in a movement known as “Out of Africa” about 60,000 years ago in a single, contained wave. But this newly-discovered bone suggests that people migrated out of Africa in multiple different phases, at least 20,000 years earlier than we thought. Related: Incredible fossil discovery rewrites the history of human migration out of Africa Archaeologists unearthed the 1.25-inch middle finger bone in 2016, and researchers used a CT scan to form a 3D model of the entire bone, which showed conclusively that it belonged to Homo sapiens.  Nature  published news of the discovery this week. “What our discovery shows is that the early spread of Homo sapiens was much more spatially widespread than we thought,” said lead study author Huw Groucutt of the University of Oxford . Via CNN Images via Flickr  and Nature

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Discovery of ancient middle finger bone completely upends what we know about human migration

SOM’s Timber Tower Slashes Tall Building Carbon Footprint by up to 75 Percent

June 4, 2013 by  
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The internationally renowned design firm Skidmore, Owings and Merril (SOM) has published findings of their recent “Timber Tower Research Project” – a proposal to construct skyscrapers with timber in order to reduce their overall carbon footprint. Buildings make up 36 percent of total energy use, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency , and tall structures in urban jungles built with metal and reinforced concrete have a particularly high carbon footprint. SOM’s design has the potential to slash the carbon footprint of these tall towers by up to 75%. Read the rest of SOM’s Timber Tower Slashes Tall Building Carbon Footprint by up to 75 Percent Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon footprint of buildings , eco design , green design , Owings & Merrill , Skidwell , SOM , sustainable design , timber tower research project , Urban design        

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SOM’s Timber Tower Slashes Tall Building Carbon Footprint by up to 75 Percent

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